Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

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Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby justindeimen » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:56 am

Courtesy of


In an attempt to bridge the artistic visions of 18 internationally diverse directors, each successful in their own right, Paris, je taime (or Paris, I Love You) becomes a self-sufficient omnibus that does not need to be held together by a consistent narrative. Especially with a stellar cast that includes Fanny Ardant, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, and Juliette Binoche et al. Bracketed by the timeless and magical appeal of Paris, it effuses itself with a searing sense of perception by its native directorial pool and an effervescent espousal by the outsiders who have embraced Pariss tapestry of cultures.

The directors (in order of appearance) are:

1. Montmartre - written and directed by Bruno Podalyds

2. Quais de Seine - co-written by Paul Mayeda Berges et ralis par Gurinder Chadha

3. Le Marais - written and directed by Gus Van Sant

4. Tuileries - written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

5. Loin du 16e - written and directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas

6. Porte de Choisy - co-written by Gabrielle Keng and Kathy Li and directed by Christopher Doyle

7. Bastille - written and directed by Isabel Coixet

8. Place des Victoires - written and directed by Nobuhiro Suwa

9. Tour Eiffel - written and directed by Sylvain Chomet

10. Parc Monceau - written and directed by Alfonso Cuarn

11. Quartier des Enfants Rouges - written and directed by Olivier Assayas

12. Place des ftes - written and directed by Oliver Schmitz

13. Pigalle - written and directed by Richard LaGravenese

14. Quartier de la Madeleine - written and directed by Vincenzo Natali

15. Pre-Lachaise - written and directed by Wes Craven

16. Faubourg Saint-Denis - written and directed by Tom Tykwer

17. Quartier Latin - written by Gena Rowlands, directed by Grard Depardieu and Frdric Auburtin

18. 14e arrondissement - written and directed by Alexander Payne

Set around 18 neighbourhoods in Paris, each 5-minute segment begins with an intertitle with both the district and directors names superimposed over a shot of the area. Its a simple and effective introduction for each of the vignettes that segues the last shot of a story as the corresponding storys establishing shot. Theres a discernable effort to cement each vignette into a continuous and functional narrative that ends up tenuous and forgettable. But what sticks is the raison d'tre of a cinematic effort of this magnitude, which is simply to explore the multitudes of Pariss most famous export Love.

Never mind the romance. Different facets of love are given its fair share of discovery. Love found, love lost, parental love, love born out of guilt, unresolved love, obsessive love, unrequited love, love at first sight, floundering love etc. are all described hauntingly, poetically and at times downright amusingly, all through each directors idiosyncrasies. Theres no singular establishing tone or mood that is funnelled throughout the entire film. Paris, je taime is much more than a sum of its parts. Each segment is given the directors own treatment, indeed its plain to see that each luminary had been given carte blanche to create the instalment of their choice with the overriding criterion that it has to be set in their respective districts.

With varied focuses and styles on display, there are decidedly earnest segments that fall short when propped against its more flamboyant and visually stimulating counterparts, but in the end all are agreeable and piquant in the idealism that fuels each effort. The film stutters along in Bruno Podalyds opening but steadily picks up steam as Gurinder Chadhas sensitive but cursory multi-cultural love story kicks in. The crescendo reaches its peak early on with Walter Sills and Daniela Thomass Loin du 16e that crosses political and social lines to a powerfully rendered expos of childcare and economic trappings of immigrant life. It then soldiers on to Sylvain Chomets (of The Triplets of Belleville fame) Tour Eiffel, a live-action love story between mimes. He imbues his story with the imaginative animated characters and exaggerated Parisian attributes of his surroundings.

Of course, there are also shorts that seem to be more about the directors style and exercises in facetious techniques rather than emoting a genuine feel of the citys spirit. Notably, Alfonso Cuarons 5-minute long take of a sidewalk conversation ambiguously held between an older man and a young French woman, Tom Tykwers return to his frenetic style seen in Lola Rennt and Vincenzo Natalis surreal vampiric tale replete with ensuing comic book imagery.

Would the film have benefited more from the participation of several other masters? Undoubtedly. There seems a gaping, untenable hole that screams out for the input of Frances Eric Rohmer or Jean-Luc Godard but considering that plans are already in motion for segments to be filmed in New York and Tokyo, theres plenty of hope left that other directors from around the world will be apart of this anthology.

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby bamboomedia1 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:02 pm

Where did you see this movie? I've been waiting so long to see this that I had forgotten about it. I got excited when I saw your thread title but I don't believe it has been released on DVD. Do you know when it might be?

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby hengcs » Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:17 am

Pardon me if I am wrong, I presume Justin watched it in Singapore ...

It is showing in Singapore now ...
I will be watching this week

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby hengcs » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:12 am

I like the film ...

It would be interesting to discuss which are the stories that one like and one doesnt exactly like ... pardon me, i tend to remember each of the story/plot better than the director's name or the segment's title ... sorry ... so i shall say what are the "stories" i like ...

wanna start? who else have watched?

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby hengcs » Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:02 am

hi to all

the DVD


Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby trevor826 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:33 pm

Posted by Chard09 (8/28/07 11:13 am)

*possible spoilers*

Initially published in Digital Buryong.

Morsels of Liquefaction in Paris Je T'aime (Various, 2006)

Directed by Olivier Assayas, Federic Auburtin & Gerard Depardieu,
Gurinder Chadha, Sylvain Chomet, Ethan & Joel Coen, Isabel Coixet,
Wes Craven, Alfonso Cuaron, Christopher Doyle, Richard LaGravanese,Vincenzo Natali, Alexander Payne, Bruno Podalydes,
Oliver Schmidt, Nobuhiro Suwa, Daniela Thomas & Walter Salles,
Tom Tykwer and Gus Van Sant

I am tired of seeing Paris in pictures. I can smell Paris in novels and short stories, but I feel that those authors are lying to me. And even a film like Paris Je T'aime can't save me from this hole of desire, a surge as blindful as doses of squid inks, to visit this city where "overrated" seems to be non-existent.

The idea for this venture is brilliant. But like most good concepts, it is not delivered well. Or probably just falls short in overall direction. I am tempted to say coherence, but no -- it's not coherence. There is a smooth transition from one story to another: smooth and short enough to forget them easily. The transition could've been better. I wonder why the producers took out Christoffer Boe's and Raphal Nadjari's segments just "because they could not be properly integrated into the movie." Judging how the omnibus turned out, it seems like it doesn't matter if they included the two. In fact, only a few stand out, either really bad or really good. Everything just came and went.

Trois mentions spcials:

Coen Brothers' Tuileries is fantastic. Steve Buscemi is still the Steve Buscemi I adore-- he still lives in oblivion. Forgetting the cardinal rule of eye contact, we know that even Mona Lisa cannot save him from two young lovers who considers kissing in public as their daily dose of Centrum.

Quite surprised that a lot of fellow bloggers and friends dislike Sylvain Chomet's Tour Eiffel. Perhaps I just can't forget how lovely Triplets of Belleville is. I am either laughing or smirking from start to finish, I don't know why. I just find mimes really funny and that kid is cute. It succeeds in making me smile, no matter what Chomet's intentions are. At least now I understand why people around me are so silent and why all the shrieks are just coming from a single mammal.

Hands down, the best installment is the last. Alexander Payne's lonely tourist visits Paris, armed with her Je parle franais un peu and the osmosis of her past, and ends up more lonely than she ever expected. Its bitter ironies and the hilarity of her narration -- a language that French language beginners like myself finds very funny that I got teary-eyed -- save me from the disappointment that I thought I'll feel afterwards. Inoubliable: Practicing her French, she asks a store attendant how to go to a certain place. The girl recognizes that she is a tourist. She answers back in English. Harsh. Anyone knows where to buy modesty in Paris? Pardon the generalization. In Quatorzime Arrondisement, we realize how it's like to be in Paris after all.

P. S. Whatever happened to Chris Doyle?

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby trevor826 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:36 pm

Hope you dont mind me moving your post to the thread Chard09, great to have more reviews etc from you.

It's always best to give the index a quick scan in case there is an existing thread.

Cheers Trev

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby chard09 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:33 am

Haha I actualliy did a search, but perhaps this thread did not come out because the title is misspelled.

Sorry. Won't do it again. Promise.

Re: Paris, je t'aime (2006) (France)

Postby arsaib4 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:03 am

Not your fault, chard. Our search function is currently out-of-order. But we've indexed our reviews for easy access. Please click here to visit the Index Forum.

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